The Marbella camp continues: two training sessions were on Friday's schedule for Peter Stöger's squad. Before that though, there were congratulations to extend and then people to greet in the evening. The first friendly fixture of the new year is due to be played on Saturday. The match against Fortuna Düsseldorf will be broadcast live by "BVB total!" from 17:00 CET on.
Jan-Philip Kirschke reports from Marbella
Auba is back
BVB are whole again: not 24 hours passed between goal-getter Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's being awarded third place at the "African Footballer of the Year" awards and his arrival at the training camp in Marbella. The Gabonese was one of several nominees for the prestigious award, and like the two Liverpool FC players who placed ahead of him, Mohamed Sarah and Said Mané, he was present for the ceremony in Ghana. The 28-year-old Aubameyang will commence training tomorrow.
Focus on speed
His colleagues were faced with two training sessions to get the sweat pumping on Friday. "Today we have placed the emphasis on speed", clarified manager Peter Stöger after the first session. Under Andreas Beck's instruction, the squad began by carrying out intensive athletic exercises using the resistance rope, among others, after which "the task was to carry on providing this attraction as part of a match". In other words, the onlookers in the Estadio Municipal were treated to plenty of shots on goal, tackles and quick movement. Roman Bürki (common cold) and Christian Pulisic (knock to shin bone) had to sit it out. The second training session of the day took place behind closed doors.
Marcel Schmelzer gave the journalists present in Marbella an update on his health between the two training sessions. The BVB captain picked up an injury to his calf in the match played at the end of Wednesday's session, and was forced to announce he would not be participating further in team training sessions. "Unfortunately it will take a few days", he said, and added: "I will receive treatment first in the next couple of days. We'll take some pictures of the injury back in Dortmund and then we'll be in a position to say exactly what's going on."
Friendly match available live on Saturday
Consequently, Schmelzer will miss the first friendly match of the year. On Saturday BVB go up against Fortuna Düsseldorf in La Línea de la Concepción, the place where Gonzalo Castro's father comes from. The Rhineland men, under Friedhelm Funkel's management, went into the winter break at the top of the Bundesliga 2 table, and are also making their preparations for the second half of the season in Marbella. The game will be shown live on "BVB total!" as well as on Borussia Dortmund's YouTube and Facebook channels.
BVB takes travelling fans out for dinner
Fans clothed in black and yellow were present for the open training sessions both today and on previous days. BVB invited all of the fans who had travelled down to a tapas bar in the heart of Marbella on Friday evening. "It is a very pleasant atmosphere with some well-known faces, but also some new ones too", said Björn Hegemann, fan representative at BVB.
Kleinsteiber turns 40
There was another small reason to celebrate in the team's hotel, the Gran Meliá don Pepe, on Friday: Matthias Kleinsteiber, goalkeeper trainer together with Teddy de Beer at BVB, celebrated his 40th birthday, and received many good wishes in the morning. In the evening, the entire team sang "Happy Birthday" around a little birthday cake.